Friday, February 21, 2014

Imagine There's No Heaven, Bitch (Part One)

**And no religion, too. Dearly beloved Sweet Nuts, this is the story of how we broke up. 

"No, I'm good. I'm okay with my Roman Catholic thing." 

I was rather stunned at how easy and casual those words slipped my lips. I have been through similar break ups, but there wasn't enough of them. I was cool, which was uncommon for I am letting go of a happy love. I was direct, which was unnatural for I'm sure I could argue my way back in if I wanted to. It was a happy kind of love after all. But I said No with the finality of a summary execution. And I said it twice in case he missed it the first time. One can never be too sure, my beloved Sweet Nuts.  

It was the casual kind of No, the everyday No, the dismissive kind of No you'd use when the high school graduate behind the counter offers to upsize your fries. 

"Would you like to upgrade your fries, sir?" 

"No, I'm good. I'm okay with my Roman Catholic thing." 

And he tried that again, and his voice was broken now. It was just the two of us in that dark room. We were lying in bed, smelling of our poisons: I, smoke, he, cheap brandy. It was humid, in spite of the reassuring noise of the creaky electric fan, because we chose to  huddle with the sheets below our necks. It was his idea. My head rested on his thin arms, his right leg over both my thighs. We were clothed inside the cocoon that was smothered with the smell of dried sweat and saliva. It would have been the sweetest thing on most days. But we were breaking up on the dead hour of that Wednesday morning. 

The smell of alcohol could have been downright criminal if he had plenty, but he was drinking for only two hours, for I timed it, and his breath was only slightly offensive. My nose was a few inches below his lips, and his mouth was troublesome with the nearly drunken rhetoric. Everything he said had this faint smell of cheap brandy, but anyway. 

"You know I love you, By." And he kissed me below the left ear. It smelled. It tickled. "But this is what I'm used to. I grew up loving the (insert his Religion here), and I know I can save you. I want to save you, By." He kissed me on the left cheek, and then on the jawline, while his right hand played with the ruffled hair on my forehead. We are still cocooned in that smelly blanket. My arm pits are beginning to shed tears of their own. 

"You remember that time you joked about not wanting to join us because you don't even have time to go to your church? I know you're a good person, but you can't be without Jesus." He hugged me tighter, and his cheeks hugged mine, and I can feel my face moisten with his breaking voice. Which is odd because my face never gets damp when we are this close. It is usually my southern regions, my physical Mindanao, my Puerto Princesa that gets rather worked up and excited when we are left to our own devices, but enough of that. My Baby's voice has broken, and he proceeds with the admirable courage he borrowed from his cheap brandy. 

"By, please. I know you are a good person, and I love you for that. But I know I can save you if you let me. So what's it going to be? It's either you join my religion, or we'll call it quits." 

"Would you like to add a sundae to your meal, sir?" Because that's what it sounded like to me. 

Again, dearly beloved Sweet Nuts, remember that my nose was a few inches below his lips. And I got to thinking. If this is what redemption smelled like, then I'd far rather sign up for the other place. I'm kidding. 

I knew, for some reason, that he will pop that question, by and by. But I never imagined that it will involve these consequences. Ours were the happy kind of love that was protected by our family and friends. It wasn't gossip-proof, but it rallied on. And it pushed through, and it sprinted, and it jumped, and it conquered (vomit) the two-year mark. We are looking forward to our third year together when he had to ask that infernal question. Goddamit. 

It is during charged times like this that I miss my cat the most. That jerk Prince hasn't been peeing for three days before he finally died in 2013. We thought it was just gas, or some boy cat broke his gay-ass heart, or some bad leaves he ate. The vet said it was normal for cats to nibble on potted plants. But there was nothing, absolutely nothing normal with how Prince lay sprawled below the sofa the day he died. 


Friday, February 14, 2014

Holy Roman Taxi Cab

Pay attention please, my dearly beloved Sweet Nuts, for I will now give you a mental picture of... the kind of... odd shit you don't see every day. You will probably scratch your head at what your mind's eye will be seeing, much like I did on my way home that morning. It caught me unaware, knocked the mental wind off my head, for I do not have the imagination for this level of shit. I kid you not. Having said that, I tip my hat to that Jesus loon, for I am now a reluctant fan. 

And this is the farthest thing from gross, too, so feel free to read aloud to your kids. Anyway.

Imagine green streaks along its Mazda frame.
I was lucky to have logged out of the phones two and a half hours earlier. We normally clock out at six in the morning, so you'd imagine how excited I was to get home at four. I'm lazy, Sweet Nuts, but that's not the point. And I was luckier, too, for I didn't have to wait for a cab. It was already waiting for me, parked on the curb outside the office, like a wonderful vision, my ride home. It was painted in the usual taxi-yellow with green streaks painted to highlight its Mazda form. The lamp that said TAXI was a beacon of soft halogen. Oh awesome heaven! 

I was hopping in slow motion in its general direction when I saw this white cross, this very large white cross erected a few inches away from the TAXI lamp. I paused. I said it was heaven sent, yes, but I was actually kidding. This yellow taxi cab, with green streaks along its Mazda frame, actually had a white cross installed on its roof. I am not kidding you, Sweet Nuts. My redemption from that day's shift had a large white cross a few inches away from the TAXI lamp. And I am not making this up. I swear on God's Vessel, which might as well be the same thing I was looking at, that I am not making this shit up. 

I cancelled the slow motion hop and switched to baby steps. I was curious. 

How could I have missed that, well, that little detail when it's about three feet high and two and a half feet wide? It was made of what could be wood that was four inches wide, and it was a few inches away from the TAXI lamp. But there it was, my dearly beloved Sweet Nuts, and it was as large as God's love. Its lower half, where Jesus' knee would have been, I suppose, was bathing in that halogen glow. This soft light revealed the words THE WORLD written in vertical, descending letters. It didn't take long for me to figure out the message that was painted on this very large cross installed on the roof of this cab. It said "FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD" along it's vertical torso. And it's horizontal length said "JESUS SAVES!" These letters were hand painted in a vivid blue, as blue as disbelief perhaps, to provide a startling contrast with its white background.

Meanwhile, the cab itself was an unmarked yellow with green paint along it's Mazda frame. It meant to take me home. But the obscenely large cross installed on it's roof meant to preach. 

I am usually lazy by default, my dearly beloved Sweet Nuts, and I hardly have the disposition to wait for another cab. My baby steps were cautious, though, as I proceeded to Manila's Next Popemobile. But then the driver stepped out, and I froze in my tracks. I was suddenly rooted in place, like a bush, and my head was burning with ideas like sprinting or brisk walking or walking on water. What is this that I am looking at now? 

He stepped out of his plate-numbered Popemobile, raised both his arms up at 45 degree angles to his shoulders, raised them above his head, and he is beckoning to me with his arms spread wide. He wasn't smiling. I am serious. 

He looked like an archangel in a bragging contest and they were measuring wingspan. His wings were This wide, and he is the object of what could be penis envy in angels. Anyway, he. Wait, no, "He" was wearing a white polo shirt, you know, with green sleeves. He looks like some mortal in his forties, I think, medium built with the complexion of varnished wood. The soft glow from the TAXI lamp defined his features. He had curly black hair. His face was stern and leathery, his eyes were beady, and he was sporting a moustache that was quite the rage with kidnappers in those action films in the 80s. He was now standing before the open door next to the driver's seat, and he was beckoning to me, his arms were stretched apart and raised at a 45 degree angle to each shoulder. The fingers on each of his palms looked like they were glued together like flippers. And it was the beckoning movement of each flipper that was very troubling to me. 

It doesn't stop there. Two of the upper buttons on his polo shirt were undone. And on his chest was this enormous crucifix. Yes, my dearly beloved Sweet Nuts, I seized the word "crucifix" because that is exactly the size of it. Imagine a copper cross the size of your thumb. Now, magnify that pendant by a hundred fold, and that will fix you with a proper estimate. Nope, the beckoning isn't stopping yet. 

It dawned on me that God's Plate Numbered Vessel was running on the essential oils of myrrh, frankincense, and some shabu. And it's herald has been sniffing plenty of exhaust fumes. 

He's giving my ass crack a stigmata of sorts on account of I could shit on the spot with this kind of crazy going on. However, I am far too cool for this loony Bible show, and you know that my dearly beloved Sweet Nuts. I maintained my safe distance and watched as he, no, "He" got back in his vessel, closed the door, and started his engine. I was actually relieved to see that yellow cab with it's green streaks move and accelerate. I noticed that the large white cross on its roof did not budge. It was then a little after four in the morning.

I noticed one of the security guards was looking at the same explosion of crazy. I was relieved. For a while there I though I was having one of those holy visitation things. 

Friday, February 07, 2014

Shove It

**I get your message. "Life is beautiful now that I'm dying." But do not tell me how to live my life. I am careful. Shut up and pray for your health. 

I know a sexually promiscuous somebody who is now HIV positive. And his suddenly messianic take on life, replete with Jesus talk and bible walk, is alarming for somebody who was as sexually prolific as he was careless. I honestly don't get it. You fucked around with everybody, hit the HIV Jackpot, and now you're praying for everyone? 

Image from

I have a message for you, Sir. And it will not surprise me if you think you should have heard this before, but haven't. You are lucky to have friends who will let you hear what you want to hear. It is not their fault that they are too polite or too reserved or too careful. I could use friends like them when, like you, I should find myself helpless in my sickbed. But anyway. 

You are living what is left of your thin-ice life on borrowed time. You are, at best, a cautionary tale. That's what you are. Please quit your "God is Good" message or that "Life is Awesome" mantra you are now affixing to everything you are saying. We get it. We know it. And we will enjoy more of it, too, because we will continue to learn from your being HIV positive. We will not do the things that you did, Sir. Or if we did, we will be very careful. We will live longer. 

Perhaps there is something I am missing. I am aware of that. I could mention it, but I will not, because my heart is too outraged by your Unlikely Sunshine Show. Your appeal to sympathy is dead to me, Sir. You are diagnosed with HIV before you were a Bastion of Optimism. That's what I am seeing, and I am sorry if I have to say that. 

Like I said, I know you fucked around. It is not a dirty needle, or some unsupervised blood transfusion. You fucked around. You sucked every hard dick that stared you in between the eyes before barebacking you with complete abandon. So fuck you. Shove your Gospel in your ass much like that unprotected cock that gave you HIV. 

And I am sorry, too, that you have HIV. I am sorry if I sound insensitive and could use some HIV myself if only to see things your way. I am sorry for a lot of things that you could be enjoying now but you can't because your maintenance medication and your physical tests and your xrays and what have yous take up most of your energy. I am sorry if I don't get it or if I don't get you, but it bothers me. I'm sorry if I should sound like a bad slogan (Being HIV positive brings out the positivity in you!). I'm sorry if I see through your appeal to sympathy or if you think I got it all wrong. I'm sorry if I think differently. 

I don't mean to sound apologetic. I was kidding. 


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